Marathon to Acquire Contech from SPX for $148 Million

March 9, 2007
Diecasting, forging, fabricating operations serving auto and truck builders

March 8, 2007 — Marathon Automotive Group has an agreement to acquire Contech, a diecaster of lightweight automotive components, from from SPX Corp. for approximately $146 million. Marathon Automotive was formed by Marathon Asset Management (a $20-billion global asset-management company) to acquire suppliers to the automotive and truck industries.

The transaction is expected to be final by mid April.

Contech diecasts and machines light-metal components, and develops proprietary metal-forming process technologies, according to a release. It also produces forged steel automotive components, and has started to use its steel tube fabricating assets to enter the heavy- and medium-duty truck markets.

SPX Corp., based in Charlotte, produces a variety of pumps, valves, condensers, and many other products for the manufacturing supply chain. Its president and CEO Chris Kearney said, "Contech is a high quality supplier to the automotive industry with a strong management team and we wish them every success in the future. This transaction, however, is a natural progression for SPX. Today, SPX is focused on a strategy of growing businesses that provide solutions for customers in the areas of flow technology, test and measurement, and thermal equipment and services. Given this focus, Contech no longer fits into our long-term strategy."

Marathon Automotive is headed by Morris C. Rowlett, chairman and chief executive officer; Robert E. Eckert, executive vice president of Finance; and Mark R. Krupp, executive vice president of Operations. Mark Hunter, president of Contech, will "partner" with the Marathon executive team "to build on the company's leadership position and the existing talent and resources to further grow the business," according to the statement.

"The acquisition of Contech represents an important step for Marathon's private-equity automotive strategy," stated Wray Thorn, managing director of Marathon Asset Managment. "Contech is a leader in the automotive supply industry, with a strong product portfolio, stellar management team and employee base, and a superior platform on which to build for future growth. Through the Marathon Automotive Group, we plan to support Contech's ongoing growth opportunities and to complete a number of additional acquisition opportunities to build a meaningful supplier in the automotive sector with the capital support to grow at a time when many companies in the sector are lacking access to capital. We look forward to working with the senior leadership team of the Marathon Automotive Group as well as Mark Hunter and Contech's senior management team to build upon the company's historical success and expand upon their current leadership position."